The Tattooed Stranger

  • 1950
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Crime

Gritty and honest story of police investigation that accurately portrays the seamier sides of law enforcement. Miles is a newly appointed detective who begins searching for the killer of a woman found murdered in Central Park. Her identity is unknown, and all Miles has to go on is a tattoo on the corpse's wrist: the emblem of the US Marine Corps. With police...read more

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Gritty and honest story of police investigation that accurately portrays the seamier sides of law enforcement. Miles is a newly appointed detective who begins searching for the killer of a woman found murdered in Central Park. Her identity is unknown, and all Miles has to go on is a tattoo

on the corpse's wrist: the emblem of the US Marine Corps. With police lieutenant Kinsella, Miles begins taking small amounts of evidence and methodically pieces together what he can. Eventually he is able to forge a link between the murder and a tattooed granite worker. Miles closes in on his man,

engaging in a shoot-out amidst a forest of gravestones. For all his work, Miles is rewarded by being assigned as a noninvestigating police officer. Unlike many police films, this is a story that tells it like it is. The film is presented in documentary style and was shot on location in the streets

of New York. A good cast of nonprofessional actors adds to this heightened sense of realism. Producer Bonafield and director Montagne originally began with RKO making documentary short subjects. They had created a two-reel short called CRIME LAB, which served as a model for this fictional feature.

Using the techniques they learned as documentary filmmakers, Bonafield and Montagne follow Miles's investigation in a similar step-by-step procedure, not allowing any camerawork or motifs of film noir to intrude into the production. By taking their cameras to New York City's underbelly, they

present a world no studio could completely and honestly portray. Made for just $124,000, this was an excellent example of what independent filmmakers of the day were capable of, an entertaining and intriguing work that reflects honesty in every shot. Made during the short, unhappy reign of Howard

Hughes at RKO, the film was intended as the first of a string of low-budget pictures which were to be made on the East Coast.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Gritty and honest story of police investigation that accurately portrays the seamier sides of law enforcement. Miles is a newly appointed detective who begins searching for the killer of a woman found murdered in Central Park. Her identity is unknown, and… (more)

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